We arrived at Haleakala Visitor Center at around 10am. Here are a couple of shots of the beautiful Haleakala Caldera that is currently dormant, but could erupt in a few thousand years.
From the Visitor Center at 9740 feet, we hiked down the side of the caldera following the Sliding Sands (Keonehe'ehe'e) trail and passed Haleakala Silversword plants
While waiting for fellow hikers for our group, we took some pics...
...but still a long way down.
Finally, we made it to the floor of the caldera. Here's a 270 degree panorama of the entire caldera.
We hiked between cinder cones...
...to the other side of the caldera where it was a little more vegetated.
Four hours later, we reach the Holua cabin at 6940 feet for lunch stop. There was a nearby cave to explore. It was closed to entry, but our group were rebels. It was really cool (literally) and a nice retreat from the scorching sun.
The trail out of the caldera started off easy. My new hiking friend Brenda still going strong.
Then it was switchbacks after switchback...
A seemingly never ending number of them...
Final look of the caldera before we hiked behind the rim.
But at last we reach the Halemau'u Trailhead with time to spare so we can catch sunset.
Another Hawaiian summit reached and a bucket list item checked!